So, apparently, my “Maximize Your Mornings” quest is well, er… kind of a flop. I’m pretty sure I’m waking up later than ever, and the house is in worse shape than before. I’m perpetually discouraged and compulsively checking the to-do list like the earth will explode if I don’t cross something off every 12 minutes. What exactly happened here?
Well, it’s winter. Almost. And I pretty much hate winter. The mornings are dark and cold and suck all the enticement out of “starting the day off bright and early”. Not only that, but I have strengthened the hypothesis that the kids will get up exactly when I get up, no matter when it is. If I stay in bed till 8:00, so do they. If I get up at 7:15, Abigail is up at 7:19, asking for breakfast and pleading to watch The Lion King for the 87th time. (Honestly, how did I end up with a kid that loves movies so much? Me, the person who would like to celebrate TV Turn-off Week at least once a month? It just doesn’t seem right).
We’ve settled into a pretty good routine. Breakfast and Bible reading, feeding the baby and tidying up the house, and then tackling the to-do list. The problem is, the house mysteriously seems to turn into a complete disaster again within a few hours. I think it has something to do with these kids.
I’ve considered a few options.
I’ve thought about getting rid of all the toys and only letting Abigail (who is 22 months old) play with recyclable materials, such as the old orange juice container, peanut butter jars, cereal boxes, and things of that nature. Then at the end of the day, I could just throw it all in the recyclable bin and be done with it. The next day, she could get a whole new set of “toys”. Seems reasonable. And, it would be good for the environment, I think.
I’ve put a few books on hold at the library. Titles like “Sink Reflections”, “The House that Cleans Itself”, and “DeClutter Your Life Forever”. I have this habit of reading lots of books whenever I encounter a problem in life. The trouble with this approach is that I spend all my time reading the books, nodding at the good suggestions, highlighting key strategies, and I never actually get around to solving my dilemma. Hmm…
I’ve also considered moving. We live on a pretty busy road, which totally irks my husband. We’ve toyed around with the idea of moving to a quieter street in town for some time now, but we actually went to look at a few houses this weekend. Just like the TV show, House Hunters, we went to three houses (all on the same street, actually!) and I fell in love with house #2. “It’s perfect!”, I said. “It has structural issues”, Mike said. I guess we won’t be moving.
Even though I really like our house, I was seriously bummed about this decision. It didn’t make any sense until I realized part of the reason I loved house #2 so much was that it was empty and clean. No clutter. No toys. No laundry sitting in baskets waiting to be washed or put away. It symbolized a fresh start.
Sometimes I feel like I do the same thing day after day after day after day. I cook, clean, pick-up toys, change diapers, pick-up books, prepare for Children’s Church, pick up piles of papers, go over the schedule, pick up the same pile of books, read a really good Kidmin book that I can never live up to, watch Lion King again, and finally, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really seem like I accomplished much at all. Sure, I’m raising up godly offspring (or at least trying to), but right now, the BIG PICTURE is looking pretty dim.
So, how do you keep on keeping on when you get discouraged? How do you prioritize in a way that makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something when you lay your head down on the pillow at night?
How do you balance parenthood with working? Especially working at home?
I’d love to hear all about it! Leave me a comment!